Settling on the wrong pillowcase type that fails to provide durability or complement your room can lead to unnecessary hassle and expense down the road. I’m listing the various types of pillowcases, along with the different designs and fabrics, to find the perfect pillowcase for the ultimate sleep quality.
Pillowcase Paradigm: Exploring the Different Types of Pillowcases
The standard housewife pillowcase offers convenient daily use, whereas bag cases provide easy changing. Decorative Oxford, throw, and mock Oxford styles add flair. Meanwhile, square/Euro shams give shape, while embellished shams elevate luxury for a wide range of bedding possibilities.
|Type||Main Features||Best For|
|Housewife||Envelope closure, common style||Daily use|
|Bag||Overhanging fabric and opening flap||Hospitality-like pillows|
|Oxford||Decorative stitched border||Decor accents|
|Throw||For accent pillows||Sofas, chairs|
|Mock Oxford||Frilly embellished edges||Elegant furniture|
|Square/Euro||Flat-hemmed edges||Modern decor|
|Pillow Shams||Envelope closure, embellishments||Glamorous decor and furniture|
1. Housewife Pillowcase
As the most common pillowcase design, housewife pillowcases are affordable and easily available in stores. Rather than using an inner flap, these pillow covers have one side sewn closed, and the other has a wide opening in which the pillow can fit easily.
A traditional housewife pillowcase contains a flap or zip to keep the pillow inside while you sleep. Housewife pillowcases come in several sizes – king, queen, full, and twin size.
- Convenient envelope style closure
- Available in a range of sizes to fit any pillow
- Plain style lacks decorative flair
- Less structure than some other options
2. Bag Pillowcase
Bag style pillowcases are commonly used in the hospitality industry because they’re easy to maintain and affordable. A bag pillow cover is identified by the draped look they give pillows. Instead of buttons or an interior flap, the entrance is completely open, then extends past the end of the pillow and creates an overhang to protect pillows.
Changing pillows is made easy and very quick when bag pillowcases are used. Unlike other pillow cases, the bag pillowcase has no inside flap to keep the bedding inside. There are no buttons, zips, or poppers either.
- Quick and neat to change because of the opening flap, easy upkeep
- Presents a tidy, uniform look
- Loose fabric prone to wrinkling
- Not as tailored as other options
3. Oxford Pillowcase
An Oxford cloth is fancy and ideal for people who want to improve the appearance of their bedroom. This type of pillowcase has a fabric border around the sides, usually about two inches wide.
I commonly use Oxford pillowcases as main pillow covers to add a bit of flair and a luxurious feel, particularly in living rooms. However, an Oxford pillowcase is more difficult to change than housewife or bag pillowcases.
- Decorative stitched borders add visual interest
- Crisp, structured aesthetic
- More difficult to change pillows
- Borders prone to becoming dirty
4. Throw Pillowcase
As the name suggests, throw pillowcases are only for throw pillows and won’t fit on any other kind of pillow. They are made for decorative purposes, letting them be thrown anywhere you want to add interest to a room. Be that on a sofa, chair, couch, or bed.
Throw pillowcases are not made for a good night’s sleep, only for beautification. They aren’t good at dealing with sweat and oil, so I won’t recommend them for sleeping often. Otherwise, you’ll have to clean them regularly.
- Protects throw pillow integrity
- Allows throw pillow to be used as decor
- Not suitable for sleeping pillows
- Requires frequent washing
5. Mock Oxford Pillowcase
A Mock Oxford pillowcase comes with a lovely decorative frill along the sides and is perfect for making a space more sophisticated. They are very similar to Oxford pillowcases yet are more dignified and graceful. Additionally, an Oxford pillow cover doesn’t have mitred corners.
Mock Oxford pillowcases are my go-to designs whenever I need to make a space feel elegant and well-decorated. Of course, they’re not for sleep quality, so they only serve as decorations when placed on beds.
- Luxurious, graceful styling
- Created an elegant, dignified look
- High maintenance
- Delicate, not durable
6. Square Pillowcase
Square pillowcases, also known as Euro sham style pillowcases, are rather similar to Oxford-style pillowcases. They come with a wide-stitched flat hem, which creates a beautiful border around the edges of the pillow cover.
Because of their somewhat flamboyant appearance, these pillow cases are only good for decorations. I often put them against the headboard while making the bed.
- Flat hemmed edges, tailored and crisp
- Offers shape and structure
- For decorative use only
- Limited size options
7. Pillow Sham
Pillow shams are used to take a standard pillow and transform it into a decorative piece. It has an envelope enclosure that keeps the pillow in place. Some of these pillow cases have a cord or flange around the edge of the pillow on the inside.
They also have different decorative features, including lace bedding and pretty embellishments. Whether you choose Egyptian cotton or silk, these pillow cases have intricate designs and patterns on the fabric that create diverse and vibrant appearances.
- Luxe embellishments and a customizable style
- Makes a glamorous statement
- High maintenance
- Expensive, delicate materials
Fabric Fantasia: Types of Pillowcase Fabrics
Pillowcase fabrics can affect how durable they are, how easy they are to maintain, and how comfortable they can be. With this knowledge, you can make the most of any pillowcase because you’ll know exactly how it feels and looks.
Pillowcases made of cotton are the most common types, especially Egyptian cotton. Cotton is great for bedding because it’s long-lasting while also being soft and easy to maintain. Cotton insulates heat fairly well, which is why it’s often preferred over wool.
The breathability of cotton is another reason why this material is so popular and common. No matter what the season, cotton can keep its temperature pretty well. Note that because cotton is so absorbent, it’s important that users go to bed with dry hair, or pillow cases will absorb the water.
When looking for a luxurious fabric for pillow cases, then velvet is the way to go. It is very sleek, and is often associated with wealth and royalty. Velvet is a bit more expensive, although it is worth the extra cost if you want stunningly beautiful bedding.
Velvet is ideal for the colder parts of the year because it’s so warm, yet it can be used at any time since it’s made of natural materials. The feel and texture of velvet pillowcases are very pleasing, and they come in various sizes and colors, so it’s obvious why they’re so popular.
Polyester is yet another common soft fabric used to make bedding and pillow covers, and it’s more economical than cotton. Synthetic fabrics, like polyester, mimic the characteristics of natural fibers.
Although nice and light, polyester does not have the temperature regulation you get from natural, breathable fabrics. Unfortunately, this may lead to overheating. It is, however, wrinkle-resistant and available in all the standard sizes you could want.
Whenever my clients are looking for the most comfortable, cozy, and soft pillow cases, I often recommend flannel material to stay warm and cozy. I typically use flannel bedding for the cold winter months and put it away during the summer.
Unfortunately, flannel can tangle long hair and cause frizz, which is one of the few drawbacks of this fabric. More than that, poor-quality flannel can get damaged rather quickly or pill up.
Who doesn’t want a silk pillowcase to rest on after a long, hard day? Compared to synthetic material, natural fibers make silk unbelievably soft and feel amazing to the touch. However, silk fabric is quite expensive, making it less common yet still highly popular.
Silk pillowcases are made only from natural materials, which is why they feel so good on the skin. They won’t cause friction on your face and even reduce frizz! It’s also very cool, making it super comfy and perfect for the summer.
Satin pillowcases are often made from polyester, letting them mimic silk’s characteristics. This fabric comes close to silk without the expensive price tag, letting me cartoon-themed satin pillow cases for my nieces and nephews.
However, satin pillow cases won’t last as long as silk or polyester. Still, satin is a shiny, flexible, cool, soft, and comfortable material that comes in many colors and will enhance the look and feel of most bedroom interiors.
Linen is a high-quality, durable, and anti-bacterial material, making it great at regulating body temperatures. Plus, linen is very easy to clean. No matter what the purpose of the pillow, it comes in many designs and colors, allowing you to find the right option for your bedroom.
This fabric is one of the best choices as it is also anti-static, so my frizzy hair won’t be a problem. Compared to satin, linen fabric can absorb moisture fairly well, so using it during the summer is a good idea.
Pillow Cover Panorama: What Is A Pillow Case?
A pillow case is a removable fabric covering that encloses and protects a pillow, typically having an opening on one side and coming in standard sizes like king, queen, or Euro sham to fit different pillow dimensions. Pillowcases are available in various materials like cotton, silk, linen, or polyester, with options for closures and embellished styling.
Is a Pillowcase Necessary?
While not an absolute necessity, using a pillow case can protect and keep a pillow clean.
Covering pillows is highly recommended for easy washing, customizing styling, improving breathability, and providing a barrier between your skin and the pillow for health and hygiene.
Going without pillow cases results in a dirty, worn-out pillow and potential skin irritation.
How to Choose a Pillow Case?
When purchasing pillow cases, first decide on fabrication based on preferences, budget, and sustainability.
- Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, and bamboo offer both comfort and luxury, although synthetic like polyester is cheaper
- Next, choose the right size pillow case for your pillows, such as standard or Euro sham.
- Shams offer decorative closures and embellishments compared to basic pillow cases.
- Closures are available in a wide range of styles, from overlapped fabric to ornate zippers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Types of Pillow Covers Are There?
There are at least seven main types of pillow covers, including the basic housewife, overhanging bag style, bordered Oxford, throw cases for decorative pillows, elegant mock Oxford, square/Euro sham, and embellished shams.
What Is the Best Type of Pillowcase?
The best pillowcase type depends on your priorities, although the housewife style offers affordability and convenience. Meanwhile, Oxford cases provide decorative flair, and satin gives a luxury feel at budget prices.
What Is the Best Pillowcase Material to Sleep On?
Cotton, linen, and silk pillowcase materials against your face are ideal for sleeping. They are breathable, moisture-wicking, and hypoallergenic for better comfort and skin health.
Whether you prefer basic or decorated pillow sham pillow cases, selecting the perfect pillowcase type impacts comfort, longevity, and bedroom aesthetic.
Match your priorities for style, budget and performance with the array of available options. An informed purchase avoids disappointment and showcases your personal flair each time you enter your personalized sanctuary.